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Women in Science

On the occasion of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science and International Women's Day, there will be a campaign in 2023 featuring female scientists at DKFZ: To raise awareness about the issues of Women in Science, encourage people to participate actively in promoting gender equality in research and innovation. Here you can find the interviews with die DKFZ scientists.

Executive Women Initiative

In 2011 the "Executive Women" initiative was founded at the DKFZ to support women in science. The 45 members of the Executive Women initiative are mentors and role models for young scientists.


DKFZ is a multicultural research institute, with 21% of the employees coming from a foreign nation representing a total of 83 nations!


Foreign employees are supported by the International Staff Service (ISS) for the planning, preparation and realization of their stay in Heidelberg. For more information, contact the International Staff Service:

DKFZ supports differentially abled employees in case special equipment or is required. For information regarding measures for differentially abled employees, contact Mrs Sibylle Szabowski:

Quiet room


Since January 2020 there has been a quiet room at the DKFZ for praying and meditation. The room is open to all nationalities, religions and genders.



To achieve equality in the decision making process, DKFZ monitors the diverse composition of recruiting committee members for leading positions, International PhD and PostDoc programs.

Equality in the recruitment processes of differentially abled applicants is monitored by Mrs Sybille Szabowski, the representative for the differentially abled employees.

Unconscious bias

To improve equality and inclusion, the topic of unconscious bias is addressed by training seminars given by the equal opportunities and diversity officer and by internal guidelines provided to recruiting committee members.

Be aware of the unconscious biases!
Take the "implicit bias" test:

Watch the video on "Unconscious Bias in Research Institutes":


500 Women Scientists


The DKFZ equal opportunities and diversity office together with the 500 Women Scientist Heidelberg pod have organized:

Nacht der Forschung
For the European Research Night, in September 2019 the 500 Women Scientists Heidelberg pod together with DKFZ equal opportunities and diversity office have organized boards and activities to raise awareness to the public on the lack of women in science in the high positions.




In December 2019, a Wiki-edit-a-thon event was organized in Germany in order to increase the visibility of female scientists of all disciplines. With the support of a Heidelberg based Wiki administrator, and two other Wiki editors, our 47 participants edited and/or translated 21 pages into different languages.

Mentoring and training


In June 2019 the new "DKFZ Mentoring – Tailored to your needs"- program was launched!

DKFZ mentoring program is designed to meet the needs of both young and advanced staff by offering opportunities as mentees to build new networks, to bond with experienced mentors, and to expand one's professional skills. The program is divided into two tracks: a basic and an advanced track.
The basic track addresses the needs of junior staff, i.e. master and PhD students or practicing technical staff. It does not require an application or a selection procedure and the match with a mentor is based on the internal communication platform DKFZ Connect.
The advanced track is tailored to the needs of more experienced and advanced employees and includes a kick-off event with external trainers for both mentees and mentors, mandatory training as well as ad hoc trainings based on the needs of each mentee.



The equal opportunities officer offers counselling on all the above mentioned points as well as on parental leave and back to work plan and provides information to young families on child-care and schools in Heidelberg.

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